As I think back on Alaska, I am so aware of the power of the wilderness. There are certainly micro-climates, it’s far more moderate in Ketchikan than in any of the other cities we visited, but the landscape is still very similar. To the untrained eye, at least, the trees look similar, the rock is similar, the water chilly and the sky open and endless. It would certainly take me a while to adjust to the balance of light and dark… and the rain and the dark in Ketchikan could get tiresome, but then it would be what was normal… and we all adjust eventually. I have friends in Portland who are so glad when the rain finally returns after three long days of sun…
But the wilderness is so present and powerful here. The towns look so vulnerable. And Nature isn’t far, when bear and moose can be seen dashing or plodding through the edges (really, if you move to Ketchikan, DON’T leave your garbage in an unlocked can!) Left on its own, the land is balanced and peaceful. A Native woman said to me when I was asking her one question or another: “But that’s the thing, you see, we never believed the land belonged to us, we believe it belonged to the animals.”
That would certainly change how you would live on it, wouldn’t it. That would bring you to peace with what is. So how do we, in our plodding steps toward Peace, recognize and lean on the Natural to encourage and empower us?
We’ll have to keep thinking… (it’s a particularly challenging thought for me today as I not only struggle with a breakdown in technology and wander the streets of NYC with dear friends.)